Two COVID-19 Patients Die in Grand Traverse County; One Patient Caught Virus from Community Spread

COVID-19 has exploded in the Metro Detroit area but it’s also been deadly for Northern Michigan.

Across the region, at least six counties have reported casualties: Emmet, Grand Traverse, Isabella, Kalkaska, Mecosta and Missaukee. In the past 24 hours, Grand Traverse County Health Department officials announced two deaths.

Public information officer Emmy Lucas says this should be a wakeup call for Northern Michigan.

“At the end of all of this we’re all going to know someone or know of someone that’s succumbed to COVID-19,” said Lucas.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, two Grand Traverse County neighbors died. One was a man in his 60’s, the other, a woman in her 70’s who officials say caught the virus out in the community.

Her passing shows how critical it is for everyone to practice social distancing. It could mean the difference between life and death.

“Easily, you can say, that that spread is going to come north,” said Lucas. “You have to think about the interaction you had with one person; might be one interaction, but who did they have interactions with previous?”

Officials are tracking the spread of the virus and urging everyone to practice frequent handwashing and strict social distancing. Do not leave the home unless you absolutely have to.

“With the grocery store, don’t make it a family event, make it a one-person event that someone goes and stocks up,” said Lucas.

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is also urging downstate residents to think twice before retreating to their second homes up north. They’re installing multiple billboards across town to advise snowbirds and the like to self-quarantine for 14 days if they come back up here.

“Stay home, do not come up here. It’s not an unfriendly thing, it’s a reality thing, we do not have the resources that Detroit has,” said Lucas.

Dr. Michael Collins from the Health Department says to observe what’s happening downstate and view it as a warning.

“The message is look at Detroit, look at New York, look at what’s happening here, it’s going to get a good deal worse here before it gets better,” said Dr. Collins. “This supports the notion all the more that this is a dangerous time and it’s worth everybody’s….harkening to the message and staying at home and as far away from people as possible.”

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is hosting their own website to keep locals up to date.

Click here for more information.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus Cases